Impacts of shipping emissions on PM2.5 pollution in China Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract. With the fast development of seaborne trade and relatively more efforts on reducing emissions from other sources in China, shipping emissions contribute more and more significantly to air pollution. In this study, based on a shipping emission inventory with high spatial and temporal resolution within 200nautical miles (Nm) to the Chinese coastline, the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was applied to quantify the impacts of the shipping sector on the annual and seasonal concentrations of PM2.5 for the base year 2015 in China. Emissions within 12Nm accounted for 51.2%56.5% of the total shipping emissions, and the distinct seasonal variations in spatial distribution were observed. The modeling results showed that shipping emissions increased the annual averaged PM2.5 concentrations in eastern China up to 5.2gm3, and the impacts in YRD (Yangtze River Delta) and PRD (Pearl River Delta) were much greater than those in BTH (BeijingTianjinHebei). Shipping emissions influenced the air quality in not only coastal areas but also the inland areas hundreds of kilometers (up to 960km) away from the sea. The impacts on the PM2.5 showed obvious seasonal variations, and patterns in the north and south of the Yangtze River were also quite different. In addition, since the onshore wind can carry ship pollutants to inland areas, the daily contributions of shipping emissions in onshore flow days were about 1.82.7 times higher than those in the rest of the days. A source-oriented CMAQ was used to estimate the contributions of shipping emissions from maritime areas within 012, 1250, 50100 and 100200Nm to PM2.5 concentrations. The results indicated that shipping emissions within 12Nm were the dominant contributor, with contributions 30%90% of the total impacts induced by emissions within 200Nm, while a relatively high contribution (40%60%) of shipping emissions within 20100Nm was observed in the north of the YRD region and south of Lianyungang, due to the major water traffic lanes far from land. The results presented in this work implied that shipping emissions had significant influence on air quality in China, and to reduce its pollution, the current Domestic Emission Control Area (DECA) should be expanded to at least 100Nm from the coastline.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Lv, Z., Liu, H., Ying, Q. i., Fu, M., Meng, Z., Wang, Y., ... He, K.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Lv, Zhaofeng||Liu, Huan||Ying, Qi||Fu, Mingliang||Meng, Zhihang||Wang, Yue||Wei, Wei||Gong, Huiming||He, Kebin

publication date

  • November 2018